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Agriculture

Where’s the beef? Everywhere!

Well, the kids are back to school again, and as they bring all their supplies to school I wonder if they know their crayons and glue were made from beef byproducts?

Most people are aware that steak and hamburger come from beef cattle but do not know the long list of things that are made from beef cattle byproducts. There are way too many things to list, but a few you might find interesting are toothpaste, violin strings, shaving cream, fabric softener, floor wax and shampoo.

The pharmaceutical industry also relies on beef byproducts because cattle have a similar organic chemical structure to humans. A couple examples of this are insulin — used to treat diabetes; heparin — helps to keep blood from clotting; and Glucagon — used to treat low blood sugar.

The ink used to print this paper could have been made from beef byproducts; and chemical manufacturers use inedible beef fats and proteins to make different fluids and lubricants. Even the asphalt roads you drive have a byproduct made from beef fat. Next time you see a beef cow, I hope you think of more than just a juicy steak!

Some of you may have already weaned your spring calves and are contemplating feeding them out or selling them as feeders. Due to the higher corn prices, it seems a majority are selling to feedlots. The cattle on feed report put out monthly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture stated that cattle on feed as of Aug. 1 were 10.626 million, an 8 percent rise as the same time last year. The drought in the south had some input on this rise. With fewer producers keeping back heifers the nation’s already low cow herd may drop in numbers again this year.

Don’t forget to come down to the Bureau County Fair this weekend, and be sure to walk through the cattle barns. If you would like to see the beef cows being shown, the junior beef show is on Saturday at 10 a.m., and the beef show is on Sunday at 10 a.m. As Labor Day is approaching and many of you are planning your last cookouts of summer, don’t forget to include beef in your festivities.

Jeannine May lives east of Princeton and has a cow/calf and grain operation.

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